Ossining Solar Project Breaks Ground – What You Need to Know

From left: Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg; Adriane Pizzuti, Maryknoll’s director of HR services, and Father Raymond Finch, Maryknoll’s superior general, at the May 4, 2021, groundbreaking. Photo by Robert Brum

A giant crane-mounted corkscrew was the center of attention during the recent groundbreaking of Maryknoll’s solar power project, which will install more than 2,000 energy-generating panels on the Ossining campus.  

The enormous piece of apparatus that looked like it could bore down to the Earth’s core is being used to drill 14 feet below ground to accommodate the foundations for six canopies on two parking lots at the Ryder Road campus.  

The four-month-long project that formally broke ground May 4 will generate enough electricity to power between 100 and 200 households. Ecogy Energy, the project’s developer, financier, and owner-operator, partnered with Sustainable Westchester on the community solar project, allowing Ossining subscribers to become eligible for discounts on their ConEd bills. 

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Father Raymond Finch, Maryknoll’s superior general, hailed the installation as “one more step to protect our common home, one more step to make a smaller carbon footprint.”  

Maryknoll, a nonprofit engaged in missionary work worldwide, will receive payments for hosting the installation for the duration of the 25-year lease, as well as credits toward discounts on its energy bills. 

Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg welcomed the town’s first large-scale solar project and noted that Ossining was looking for places to embrace this sustainable energy source under its recently adopted solar code. 

“Ecogy and Maryknoll were a match made in heaven — pun intended — because they had this incredible parking lot that was already cleared,” Levenberg said. “Ecogy had the ability to put in a canopy system so not only can they have a nice protected parking lot, they didn’t have to cut down trees to do it.” 

She added: “It’s also a community solar project, which means that the community members who may not be able to put solar on their own roofs or homes or who rent property can actually buy into this project and lower their electricity costs.” 

A rendering of what Maryknoll’s solar installation will look like.

Brock Gibian, Ecogy’s director of development, called the 874-kilowatt installation likely the largest of its kind in Westchester. 

“The fact that we can create local jobs and community solar access and provide an amenity and new revenue stream to Maryknoll, all while benefiting the local community environment, is just a true model that we had hoped to scale,” Gibian said before the groundbreaking. 

How it works, how to subscribe  

  • The community solar project — which prioritizes Ossining residents and especially those from low- to moderate-income households — is scheduled to go online in August.  
  • According to Ecogy, subscribers will receive electric bill credits throughout the year for their share of the energy generated from the project that are guaranteed to be at a 10% discount. This usually works out to a rough discount of 10% off their total electric bill cost over the year. Subscribers will never be charged a premium or fail to receive a discount, according to the company. 
  • At first subscribers will see the monetary credits applied to their ConEd electric bills through a new line item named “Ecogy Community Solar” and will be charged by Ecogy through for 90% of the credited amount — thereby saving 10%. 
  • Once ConEd’s consolidated billing goes into effect a few months afterward, subscribers will see the net 10% discount applied directly to their bill as a credit, and there will be no separate bill for Ecogy for 90% of that credit.  
  • Those interested in subscribing to the Ossining community solar project can click on the link below to sign up. There are no credit scores required and no cost to terminate the subscription. Subscriptions are on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the subscriptions are filled, you’ll be placed on a waiting list to be eligible if a subscriber drops out or when another project in Westchester comes online. 

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About the Author: Robert Brum